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Dear Mary: I'm obsessed with my boss


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I started a new job eight months ago and in that time I have built a great relationship with my boss. She is smart, funny and really nice. We get on really well and have a number of things in common.

I am really bad at telling if someone is interested in me, so I don't know if she likes me in a romantic way or if she just wants to be friends or even just work colleagues.

As this is a work relationship I don't really want to ruin things but I am constantly thinking about her.

Do you have any advice about what I should do?

Mary replies:  The words of one of Seamus Heaney's poems immediately came to mind when I read this email. It was written in another context but is very relevant nonetheless: Whatever You Say, Say Nothing.

You are in a relatively new job and you fancy your female boss.

This is not one of your colleagues, not someone in a neighbouring office, but somebody to whom you report and who in turn reports on you.

It doesn't matter at all if she likes you in a romantic way because even if she did she would know what a bad idea it would be to take it further.

If you were to embark on any form of relationship she could then be accused of favouring you above other workmates, and also how would it be if the relationship came to an end?

When I was young a group of guys that I was friendly with made a pact among themselves that they would never date anybody else's sister because of the position it would put everybody in if the relationship ran into difficulties.

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It worked very well for them - they all got girlfriends and wives away from their particular group - and I feel the same can work for you.

So while it must be exciting for you to be close to her and even allowing yourself to daydream about her, do not make any move towards her.

If she wants to take things further she knows where you are but I would be very surprised if she did.

You can contact Mary O’Conor anonymously by visiting www.dearmary.ie or email her at dearmary@independent.ie or write c/o 27-32 Talbot Street, Dublin 1. All correspondence will be treated in confidence. Mary O’Conor regrets that she is unable to answer any questions privately.

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